In this week’s episode we delve into some of the psychology behind design. We’re looking especially and introverts and extroverts and how these personality traits can impact your daily designing, your interaction with clients and your overall progression as a creative.


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Meet Your Hosts

The Honest Designers Show started when our founder Tom found he was regularly chatting and sharing tips with top designers; Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee. We soon organised a weekly call where we would help each other with areas we were struggling with and try to give each other actionable feedback. Soon we realised that the collective experience of the group was proving so valuable for each of us, that we thought ‘why not share these conversations with the world?’.

And so, The Honest Designers Show was born! This podcast is an insight into how to succeed in the creative industry, as well as giving you a totally transparent, under the hood look at some of the tougher, less glamorous hurdles to overcome! We also tend to get a little goofy along the way, so this is a chance to get to know each of us a little better :). We’ve loved recording this show for you, and we hope that you find value and enjoyment in listening to it.


Please find full show notes for this episode below:

[1:00] In this week’s episode we talk about introverts and extroverts
[2:00] The hosts reveal on which side they fall: Lisa and Tom are a mix of both, Dustin thinks he’s is an introvert that talks to much
[3:30] Lisa enjoys working on her own but she enjoys socializing with other people
[4:00] Ian thinks he’s an introvert at his roots, but with the help of his wife he’s becoming a bit more extroverted
[5:00] Tom gives an example of an extrovert – his dad, which enjoys talking to people very much
[6:00] Tom believes a lot of designers prefer working alone
[6:30] Lisa wonders if it’s a trait of the job to be a bit of both
[7:15] She believes that while collaboration is great, it can sometimes distract you from the work
[7:45] Ian says that he used to work in a team in the past and he really misses it now as he thinks he can focus better in a team environment
[8:40] He’s experienced the best of both worlds
[9:00] Often the most successful people are roughly in the middle, and it’s great to have access to both sides when and as they’re needed
[9:30] When he started Retro Supply Dustin was mostly on his own, but as it developed he realized he needed collaborators to help with work
[11:00] Tom thinks there are some patterns in most designers and believes that designers tend to be more empathetic than other people
[11:45] Lisa believes that designers need to be empathetic and put themselves in the shoes of the consumer
[12:40] Dustin thinks clients like working with Lisa because she understands her audience very well
[13:10] All designers share a common trait of doubting themselves, and this is a necessary thing so they can constantly challenge themselves
[15:00] Ian usually finds that an idea which he had and seemed great at night, doesn’t look like such a good idea when he wakes up in the morning
[15:30] Tom believes designers are great at building a sense of community or being part of one
[16:30] Lisa gives an example of a designer that was such an introvert that he couldn’t even discuss his designs with the clients
[18:00] She asks Ian is he’s ever had that issue as being an introvert at work
[18:40] Ian reveals he’s not very good at confrontation and says he finds it hard to justify his work when a client’s picks apart one of his designs
[19:30] Dustin thinks that the requirement of communications increases with the broadness of the business
[20:20] He experienced this when he first started out and says he struggled to understand what the clients wanted
[20:50] Find out what you’re half decent at and what sets you on fire – for Ian that is calligraphy and typography
[21:40] Tom asks how the personality links in with dealing with clients – is the middle ground the answer?
[22:20] Someone that is too extroverted or too charismatic might get away with selling a bad design to a client, but they end up doing a disservice to the client
[22:50] You can adjust your state of being based on the client, as there isn’t a one size fits all model
[23:40] Lisa agrees with this, as she’s already established a relationship with the client and knows how to adjust when she talks to one or another
[24:15] She thinks it must be difficult for an introvert to start his own freelance business, as talking to clients is an integral part of the business
[25:30] Tom’s suggestion for extreme introverts is to let their work speak for themselves
[26:15] Ian gets most of his work done via email and believes that being an introvert in this case doesn’t affect you being an introvert
[27:30] Dustin thinks it’s likely that it’s not being an introvert as such as it is more fearing failure, which is what happened to him when he launched his first product
[28:00] He finds it really hard to introduce himself to a group
[28:40] Ian fears that while being part of some groups the members might have questioned his presence there
[29:20] All of us tend to have the same insecurities when dealing with other people
[30:00] As a teenager Dustin felt the pressure of going out every Friday and Saturday so his friends didn’t think less of him
[30:50] When he first started Retro Supply, he believed it was only his mum who bought his products
[31:30] Only you know that you are being an introvert
[32:40] It’s really import to humanize your clients, as it’s likely they’re having the same insecurities as you do
[33:00] Dustin recommends listening to the “School of Life” on Youtube
[33:30] Ian believes there is a huge difference between UK’s and US’ introverts
[34:30] Tom likes that Americans are more outspoken and Dustin agrees and he says that they’re taught to smile and say hello
[35:30] He thinks that Americans come across as ‘eager to please’
[36:00] it’s very important to consider culture when dealing with clients
[37:00] You naturally start mimicking your client’s language
[37:50] Dustin realised that Eastern Europeans tend to be more blunt and more forward at asking uncomfortable questions
[39:40] Certain cultures wouldn’t be as forthcoming when dealing with a client and with sharing criticism
[40:20] Tom reveals that he didn’t consider this in his early days but learned as he went by
[41:00] Lisa thinks you should be especially careful when communicating via emails
[41:40] Dustin says that one of the best skills that he’s learned was to not respond to emails immediately
[42:30] It’s important to think how your answers can be interpreted by others reading your emails
[43:40] Tom has learned with practice to be more extroverted and has seen real benefits
[44:30] Dustin found he’s very comfortable doing videos and this is the way he’s climbed from being an introvert to an extrovert
[45:10] Lisa suggests starting small but challenge yourself, and reveals that the podcast was a real challenge for herself
[46:00] Ian says it’s important to look at the advantages of being on the other side, as he is about to have his second talk and never even imagined being on a stage
[47:00] Embrace your uncomfortable zone and see what it can bring you
[47:30] Thank you all for listening to this week’s episode

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